Influence of Family and Social Attributes on Caregivers Feeding Practices in the Northern Region of Ghana

Barma Laribick Dujin


This qualitative study of the influence of family and social attributes on caregivers’ feeding practices explores how socioeconomic and cultural factors affect caregivers’ feeding practices in the Northern Region of Ghana. The study further assessed how mealtime structure, feeding styles, and food availability and accessibility affected caregivers’ feeding practices. Seventy-nine caregivers of children under five years in the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality and Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District in the Northern Region of Ghana participated in eight focus group discussions. The results showed that caregivers fed foods that were available and accessible at the family level. The results further revealed that caregivers adopted the authoritative feeding style and caregivers’ employment, income status and family mealtime structure seem to affect caregivers feeding practices. These findings have important implications for developing strategies to curb the high malnutrition prevalence in the study areas. Providing educational programmes by the Ghana Health Service and their partners would go a long way to improve good feeding practices and improve the health status of children in the study areas and Ghana as a country.


Caregivers, Child Feeding, Qualitative Study, Familiy and Social Attributes, Northern Region

Full Text:



Alemayehu M, Abreha K, Yebyo H, Zemichael K, Gebremichael, H. Factors associated with timely initiation and exclusive breast feeding among mothers of Axum town, Northern Ethiopia. Science Journal Public Health, 2(5), 394 – 401, 2014.

Behets, F. Ten steps to successful breastfeeding programme to promote early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding in DR Congo: A cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet Global Health, 3; 546 – 555, 2015.

Bui QTT, Lee HY, Le ATK, Van Dung D, Vu LTH. Trends and determinants for early initiation of and exclusive breastfeeding under six months in Vietnam: results from the multiple indicator cluster surveys, 2000-2011. Global Health Action, 9(29433), 1–13., 2016.

Cashdan, E. A sensitive period for learning about food. Human Nature, 5(3), 279–291., 1994.

Eyler AA, Matson-Koffman D, Young DR, Wilcox S, Wilbur J, Thompson JL, Sanderson B, Evenson KR. Quantitative study of correlates of physical activity in women from diverse racial/ethnic groups: The Women’s Cardiovascular Health Network Project- summary and conclusions. Am j Prev Med, 2003

Ghana Statistical Service (GSS). Ghana Demographic and Health Survey 2014. Accra; GSS, GSS, and ICF Macro, 2014.

Lieberman M, Gauvin L, Bukowski WM, White DR. Interpersonal influence and disordered eating behaviors in adolescent girls: The role of peer modeling, social reinforcement and body-related teasing. Eating Behaviours, 2(3): 215 –236, 2001.

Maxwell JA. Qualitative research design: an interactive approach approach. Sage Publications Applied Social Science Methods Series. V. 41. Thousand Oaks: Sage; 2005

Muslimatun S, Wiradnyani LA (2016). Dietary diversity, animal source food consumption and linear growth among children aged 1-5 years in Bandung, Indonesia: a longitudinal observational study. British Journal of Nutrition.1:S27-35. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515005395, 2016.

O’Donovan SM, Murray DM, Hourihane JO, Kenny LC, Irvine AD, Kiely M. Adherence with early infant feeding and complementary feeding guidelines in the Cork Baseline Birth Cohort Study. Public Health Nutrition, 18: 2864–2873, 2015

Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association, 311(8), 806–814., 2014.

Osendarp S, Broersen B, Van Liere MJ, De-Regil LM, Bahirathan L, Klassen E, Neufeld LM. Complementary feeding diets made of local foods can be optimized, but additional interventions will be needed to meet iron and zinc requirements in 6-to 23-month-old children in low-and middle-income countries. Food Nutrition Bulletin, 37: 544, 2016

Semahegn A, Tesfaye G, Bogale A. Complementary feeding practice of mothers and associated factors in HiwotFana Specialized Hospital, Eastern Ethiopia. Pan African Medical Journal, 18:143, 2014.

Spinks T, Hamilton K. (2015). Investigating key beliefs guiding mothers’ dietary decisions for their 2-3 year old. Appetite, 89:167–74, 2015.

Taddele M, Abebe L, Fentahun N. (2014). Exclusive breastfeeding and maternal employment in Ethiopia. A comparative cross-sectional study. International Journal of Nutrition & Food Science, 3(6):497–503.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Global database. Infant and young child feeding. New York, NY: United Nations Children’s Fund, 2014.

Valmórbida JL, Vitolo MR. Factors associated with low consumption of fruits and vegetables by preschoolers of low socio‐economic level. Jornal de Pediatria, 90(5): 464–471, 2014

Woodruff SJ, Kirby AR. The associations among family meal frequency, food preparation frequency, self-efficacy for cooking, and food preparation techniques in children and adolescents. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45(4), 296–303, 2013



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Asian Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.